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Congregational Life: Social Justice: Climate & Sustainability

online and in-person connections for service and justice work

Welcome

Welcome to The Ministry Lab's curated list of resources to help congregational leaders encourage congregational engagement in the work of environmental sustainability. Here you'll find opportunities for:

  • Individual Engagement
  • Household Engagement
  • Congregational Engagement
  • Community Engagement

If you don't find a resource to fit your need, don't hesitate to consult with The Ministry Lab's director, Rev. Emily Meyer, who is happy to assist you.

Individual Engagement

Not sure who to vote for? You can read up on the environmental records of candidates using the League of Conservation Voters scorecards.

Climate Change Activists Either Prod Exxon Mobil or Dump It - The New York  Times

THIRD ACT — EXPERIENCED PEOPLE WORKING FOR A FAIR AND STABLE PLANET.

This! Is What We Did is driven by the following Mission Statement:

To help grow a movement strong enough to break the power of the fossil fuel industry and stimulate the effective, drastic action needed to spur climate justice and give future generations a chance for a decent life through 

  1. a powerful educational experience
  2. a welcoming community
  3. easy-access on-ramps to effective action

In particular, we see people 50 years and older as an untapped resource to fight climate change.

Global Ministries EarthKeepers is a training program that equips US-based United Methodists to launch and grow environmental projects in their communities. Topics include eco-theology, anti-racism, community organizing, and project planning. All participants plan a project during the training. Find out more and apply.

Household Engagement

8th Fire Solar At White Earth Tribal and Community College, in Mahnomen, a paid solar-worker certification program is preparing students of all ages to install solar arrays. Across the reservation in Osage, 8th Fire Solar is constructing solar thermal panels—basically a sun-powered furnace system—that help people cut emissions and lower winter heating bills.

The Work of Radical Frugality by Harriet Fasenfest

Frugality isn’t just a virtue practiced by bygone generations. It can also be a break with an all-consuming capitalist system.

ILLUSTRATION BY RETROSTAR/ADOBE STOCK

10 Films to Inspire Your Inner Environmental Superhero by Leigh Fine

Movies have long helped us understand what it means to live on earth and contribute to an ecologically sustainable planet. Here are ten of our favorites.

Still from FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992).

Climate Justice Through Divestment

“We are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance.”

Yes! Magazine; By Ray Levy Uyeda

mnipl-2016-logo4

The MN Center for Environmental Advocacy offers numerous opportunities to engage - both long-range (like their Youth Climate Intervenors) and extremely current Action Alerts. See here for more options.

Farmer-Eater Exchange: avoid food waste;

Community Supported Agriculture directory: openings for this season.

The Office of Social Justice and Faith Formation Ministries offer this resource to address God's call to care for creation. Ten Ways to Care for Creation includes ideas such as starting an intergenerational gardening project, holding a storytelling series, and much more!

Download this free resource or order printed copies for a small fee at FaithAliveResources.org.

Congregational Engagement

Lutherans Restoring Creation - How Wise ThenShare your stories and connect with other congregations engaged with creation care via Lutherans Restoring Creation's interactive Map of Care for Creation Ministries. Learn about it, contribute to it, and find other exciting ideas here.

Remember Your Baptism and Care for Creation - United Methodist Insight

Stephen Fry in support of Extinction Rebellion: 'Something has to be done'British actor and comedian Stephen Fry calls on his nation to support Extinction Rebellion. Video by Extinction Rebellion UK

10 Films to Inspire Your Inner Environmental Superhero by Leigh Fine

Movies have long helped us understand what it means to live on earth and contribute to an ecologically sustainable planet. Here are ten of our favorites.

Still from FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992).

WATER WHERE WE LIVE CURRICULUM

includes:

  • FREE eco theology curriculum

  • FUN enviroSTEM activities

  • FAITHFUL spiritual practices

  • FRUITFUL water justice discussions

This curriculum was created by Growing Green Hearts/Heidi Ferris, in conjunction with the Capitol Region Watershed District, area congregations, Luther Seminary, and The Ministry Lab.

Join the MNIPL Drop-In Community Hour, Thursdays, 12:00-1:00 PM, to get support for whatever you or your congregation are up to.

Study & Worship for Progressive Churches: Creation (Donald Schmidt - Author). This all-in-one study and worship resource includes everything a congregation needs to enable children, youth, parents, and grandparents to share together in a five-week study of the biblical stories of creation.  

Lutherans Restoring Creation

Lutherans Restoring Creation offer this Congregational Covenant and Organizing Kit

Adapt it to any denominational affiliation by substituting comparable denominational statements or calls to action in appropriate places. Tools for organizing across committee and governance structures are universal.

Presbyterian Mission

offers diverse and changing opportunities to engage in the work of climate care and natural disaster relief locally, nationally and globally.

Connect-the-Drops: Faith, Science & Youth Leadership Cohorts

High School, middle school, or intergenerational. Go to GrowingGreenHearts.com for more information

AND Water Stories for Churches Video Resources

Community Engagement

MNIPL helps congregations go solar. See the ways your building can become more energy sustainable and a cost-effective agent in being good stewards of creation. Learn more here.

RESILIENT YARDS WORKSHOPS

Blue Thumb Workshops offer DIY tactics to make your landscape more resilient to extreme heat, flooding rains, and other challenges of climate change. Better yet, these earth-friendly tactics protect clean water in nearby lakes and streams and provide habitat for pollinators. Learn how to create a plan for your congregation's yard, as well as tips on managing stormwater, using native pants, rethinking lawns, and more.

$15/scholarships available

See our Great Ideas write up for congregational adaptations.

Learn more and register here.

To Save a Forest, Look to the Women by Veronica Perková

 Women often suffer the most from environmental degradation. A nonprofit in Colombia is trying to make their needs central to conservation.

Ninfa Carianil Damaso, first female forest ranger of Fundación ProAves, poses in front of a nature preservation sign.

PHOTO COURTESY OF FUNDACIÓN PROVISO

What if Legal Personhood Included Plants, Rivers, and the Planet?

Amy Westervelt, Founder of the Critical Frequency podcast network.

PHOTO BY ISABELLA REYES-KLEIN

A new podcast explores the rights of nature movement and its potential to shift Western legal doctrine around environmental protection.

The podcast explores the rights of nature movement and its potential to shift Western legal doctrine around environmental protection.

A Guide to Climate Reparations

Reparations, debt cancellation, and climate justice are all regular features in climate solutions—but what do they mean in practice?

Yes! Magazine; By Anita Bhadani

Find out how individuals and communities can live into their responsibilities as Treaty Peoples to support the years-long efforts of Water Protectors to Stop Line 3.

Reconciling relationships with natureIn a video released by United Methodist Global Ministries, Rev. Tyler Sit, an EarthKeeper who serves New City Church in Minneapolis, shares the importance of connecting with the Earth and how leading a program that provides nature-based therapy in support of people of color is impacting his community.  Watch video

View a trailer, join a multi-group event, or create a virtual screening

Water Where We Live: Rain Gardens for ChurchesMonthly water events for churches are posted here.

AND SEE: Water Stories for Churches

'Water Is Life' is a UM News photo-essay chronicling global struggles for clean water and the church’s efforts to provide clean water to rural Africa. View package

Visit the Wakan Tipi Center, part of the Lower Phalen Creek Project.

  • Share the introductory video.
  • Discuss environmental racism
  • Learn about this land's sacred and cultural significance for the Dakota people
  • Engage in the restoration of prairie, language and traditions
  • Enjoy a staff-guided hike

Develop your own excursion or work with Heidi@growinggreenhearts.com.

Earth Day

 Hear Matthew Fox in conversation with Alex and Allyson Grey, of the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, on "Easter, Christ, and Creation Spirituality."

Earth Day’s 2022 Theme

EARTH DAY 2022

The Earth Day 2022 Theme is Invest In Our Planet.

What Will You Do? See the website to find information on Earth Day events, activities, and what individuals and organizations can do to make a difference. Register your event and join the global Invest in Our Planet movement.

A prayer, posted August 9, 2021 by Maren, to share any time:

Prayers for the Heating Earth

This Earth Day 2021 Toolkit was created to help you inspire, educate, and engage your faith or spiritual community in working for climate justice this Earth Day and beyond! Our theme is: Sacred Ground: Cultivating Connections Between Our Faith, Our Food, and the Climate, and it invites you to ...

  • Reflect on your spiritual connection to the land

  • Examine how current food systems contribute to injustice and climate change and ways to advocate for systems that are better for people and the planet.

  • Take practical actions that promote justice